For a number of years now, Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source-selection procedures have come under fire for overuse and misuse at the same time budget constraints make LPTA methods more enticing to some cash-strapped agencies.
In an LPTA procurement, the Government evaluates proposals for mere technical acceptability under the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria. Of the technically acceptable proposals received from eligible offerors, the Government then awards the contract to the lowest-price proposal, without considering any additional value that more expensive proposals may provide. In an LPTA acquisition, it does not matter that the second least expensive proposal may have three times more technical merit than the lowest-price technically acceptable proposal. Even if that technically superior proposal is only a dime more expensive, the Government is required to make the award to the acceptable proposal that is ten cents cheaper.
Some of you may remember that, way back in 2016, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2017, requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) within 120 days to require DoD contracting officers to ensure six criteria are satisfied before issuing a solicitation on an LPTA basis.
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